Eagle Face Oatmeal Stout

This past week, some colleagues and I named a new dinosaur – Aquilops americanus. The name Aquilops means “eagle face”, in honor of the animal’s eagle-like beak. So, it only seemed appropriate to name this weekend’s brew session Eagle Face Oatmeal Stout.

It has been a loooooong time since I have brewed an oatmeal stout. The last effort, back in 2010 during my extract days, was not a flawless fermentation but the end result was really darned good beer (just not a lot of it). My first attempt at an all-grain oatmeal stout is thus experimental territory!

Eagle Face Oatmeal Stout

  • 8.5 lbs. 2-row pale malt
  • 1 lb. 80° L crystal malt
  • 1 lb. Victory malt
  • 1 lb. flaked oats
  • 0.75 lb. chocolate malt
  • 0.5 lb. roasted barley
  • 0.5 lb. rice hulls
  • 1.25 oz. Northern Brewer hops pellets (8.5% alpha, 4.0% beta; adjusted for aging)
  • 1 tbs. 5.2 pH stabilizer
  • 1 tsp. Irish moss
  • English Ale yeast – WLP002
Procedure
  • On Thursday, December 11, I set up the yeast starter. As with my last starter, I used 172 grams of extra light dry malt extract in 1.5 L of water. This was boiled for 10 minutes, cooled, and then the yeast was pitched. True to the reputation of WLP002, it is indeed a highly floculant, fast-acting strain.
  • On brew day, Saturday, December 13, I milled all of the grains except the flaked oats and rice hulls. After milling, the oats and rice were added to the grains, which were in turn added to the mash tun.
  • I mashed in with 4.25 gallons of water at 176°. The overall mash stabilized at 156°.
  • After 60 minutes, I added 0.5 gallons of water at 180°. I let the mash settle for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected 3.25 gallons of wort.
  • I then added 3.14 gallons of 185° water; the temperature of the resulting mash was a little too hot for my tastes (~174°), so I added 0.375 gallons of tap cold water. This brought the mash down to 166° or so. As before, I waited 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and drained the tun.
  • In total, I collected 6.85 gallons of wort with a gravity of 1.048. This works out to ~74% efficiency.
  • I brought the wort to a boil, and added the hops. After 45 minutes, I added 1 tsp. of Irish moss. After 60 minutes, I turned off the heat and chilled the wort down to ~70°.
  • I transferred 5.75 gallons of wort into the fermenter, pitched the yeast, and put it in my fermentation chamber. The temperature was set to 68°. [because it is fairly cool this time of year, I have a small heating pad to help keep temperature up; what a reverse from the summer months!]
  • The starting gravity was 1.057 at 60°. The wort is sweet and quite dark–true to style!
  • When I checked on the beer nine hours after pitching the yeast, fermentation was cruising along quite nicely.
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